The number of job vacancies fell 1.1 per cent over the three months to May, a “noticeably weaker” performance than a year ago.

Employers in May advertised 241,500 positions, according to seasonally adjusted data released on Thursday by the Australian Bureau of Statistics.

Public sector vacancies rose 3.8 per cent but vacancies in the much larger private sector fell 1.6 per cent, pulling down the overall rate of growth from 1.2 per cent in the February quarter – and from 6.7 per cent a year ago.

ABS chief economist Bruce Hockman said growth in vacancies was noticeably weaker in 2019 than it had been in 2018.